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SXSW 2021

No Justice, No Booty: Sex Work, Art, & Activism

Amid a global pandemic that has transformed their industry, sex workers have seized the opportunity to organize mutual aid efforts, artistic performances, and labor strikes in support of their community and liberation. Through art and activism, sex workers have created independent platforms and movements addressing pervasive stigma, surveillance, and racism in their industry. Using the sex workers’ rights movement as an example of intersectional coalition building, this panel brings together the artists and activists behind the Portland Strippers Strike, a labor movement spurred by racist treatment of Black dancers; E-Viction, a "self-destructing virtual arthouse / whore gallery”; and Cybertease, a virtual strip club entirely run, coordinated and performed by unionized sex workers.

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  1. Sex workers rights are an essential part of an intersectional movement that includes feminism, racial justice, immigrant rights, and prison abolition.
  2. Sex workers have long relied on social bonds as a matter of survival while existing in a constant state of crisis and scarcity.
  3. Sex work is essential labor providing intimacy, entertainment, and artistic value in a historic moment in which people crave connection and meaning



Lena Chen, Artist, Lena Chen

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